Top Dog Toys to Combat Boredom

by Drs. Foster and Smith on September 16, 2009

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Looks like my friend's Basset Hounds got into something they shouldn't have!

Looks like my friend's Basset Hounds got into something they shouldn't have!

**Guest post from Ellen B.**

A bored dog often spells trouble! Boredom can result in many dog behavior problems such as:

  • Excessive barking
  • Excessive licking
  • Inappropriate chewing
  • Digging
  • Getting into things he shouldn’t

A tired dog is less likely to be bored. Exercising your dog will help him release energy, relieve boredom, and keep his mind active. Toys conducive to the outdoors are usually excellent for exercising your dog. (See some fetch toys for dogs.)

Some dog toys are more conducive to keeping your dog busy and his mind stimulated. Interactive dog toys are particularly useful for stimulating a dog’s mind, and ultimately preventing boredom.

I love to buy new toys for my dog, especially durable dog toys that will entertain him. I currently have Kobe, a fairly small dog (20 lbs) who is a gentle chewer. My 60 lb. dog, Lucky, who recently passed was just the opposite…a heavy chewer. The following top picks are based on what worked for my dogs.

Everlasting Treat Ball

Everlasting Treat Ball

My Top Picks of Dog Toys for Heavy Chewers

The large Everlasting Treat Ball entertained Lucky for a total of at least 10 hours. The treat has to be licked, and it lasts quite a long time. If refills are not on hand, peanut butter or regular treats can be inserted. I found this toy to be especially great when we had company and wanted to keep Lucky busy.

These are very tough, heavy-duty balls that are great for outside play. We also used them for fetching in the water. My son particularly liked the football-shaped toy…anything to strengthen the bond between a child and a pet is a good thing! (Many dogs need A LOT of exercise to prevent dog boredom, so be sure to get the whole family involved!)

Wobbling Dog Treat Ball

Wobbling Dog Treat Ball

Similar to the Everlasting Treat Ball, this toy stimulates your dog’s problem solving skills and relieves boredom. I have friends who rave about this toy. It is extremely durable and all dogs love the food reward! Put a little of his dog food in the toy, and give him that much less at meal time.

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My Top Picks of Dog Toys for Gentle Chewers

Plush dog toys are ideal for fetch, snuggling, or chewing, and plush dog toys retain your pet’s scent to keep him coming back to it again and again. Kobe especially likes toys that make a sound whether it be a squeak, crinkle or crackle. As you can see in this video , my dog loves to shake this soft toy!

Because of their appearance, I affectionately refer to Skinneez dog toys as “road kill”. Regardless of it’s looks, my dogs love it and carry it around like a baby blanket. Each toy has a few squeakers. Although my “heavy chewer” got the squeakers out almost immediately, they did last a few weeks–longer than any other squeaker toy! Kobe, my “gentle chewer” still has his Skinneez intact after 2 months. Added bonus: These toys are washable.

Here again, I think the noise that my dog can easily make with this toy attracts him to the toy. A plush cover goes over an empty water bottle. It comes with a bottle, but you can always replace it. My dog is also able to grab it by the limbs and give it a good shake. As an option, you can remove the water bottle for a stuffing-free plush toy to suit the play habits and preferences of your dog.

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UPDATE:
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The Busy Buddy Dog Bone is so popular with my dogs, I just have to add it to my list of great dog toys! It’s durable enough to handle tough chewers, but fit for any dog. I prefer the bristle style because dogs brush their own teeth while they’re madly working at getting the delicious treat disc in the bone! Read my post that gives more details about the Busy Buddy Dog Bone. It’s sure to keep your dog entertained and help prevent dog boredom!
Busy Buddy Bristle Dog Bone

Busy Buddy Bristle Dog Bone

Other Helpful Boredom-Fighting Articles:


dog-toys


{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Marie October 10, 2009 at 10:59 am

First, adorable picture of the dogs on a couch looking all cute and innocent! My dog has the Bob-A-Lot and loves it. I especially like to use it when the weather is bad and he can’t get outside to play. I also recommend the soft bite floppy disk for fetching, especially in the water. Thanks for the ideas.

Caroline October 13, 2009 at 10:10 am

Thanks so much for all the great information! And Kobe is adorable! We recently received a “miraclebeam” laser from Foster and Smith, not only does my cat love to chase the beam of light, but my dog AND my two year old joined in the fun! They all had a blast while I sat on the couch making them run around the house! FUN!

Emily January 31, 2010 at 2:08 pm

my dog loves his skinneez he tore it alittle but not a lot

Jan Leavitt February 15, 2010 at 3:53 pm

Don’t know if I’m on the right page or topic…..my black lab, Keely, is an incessant licker, to the point that 1/4″ bloody crater sores on her paw and leg required laser surgery to numb the nerves. We had tried other methods like Bitter Apple, anti-itch sprays, Bitter Yuck, stockings (which she pulls or chews off immediately), various creams, all unsuccessful. She has had to wear an E-collar in addition to heavy bandages on her leg and paw which are due to come off in a day of two. Vet recommended extended use of E-collar, and also mentioned that psychologically she may be a chronic licker. She has also been on Metacam for the past 5 days. Keely is not a stressed out dog and does not suffer from boredom…..we take her everywhere and she is with us 24/7 AND has a “little” brother to pay with (85# lab/golden mix). I know we are going to have a problem when the E-collar is removed (she’s worn it most of the past 2 months!) because she licks the collar itself in the area directly over her leg/paw. I don’t want to live with the E-collar forever and am FRANTIC to find a solution to her licking. Please help!!!!!

Norah March 29, 2010 at 4:11 pm

Hi Ellen! Chico and Pablo’s mom just directed me to your blog this week! You haven’t met my Beaucerons but let me tell you that they are part of the elite when it comes to heavy chewers. The Everlasting Ball lasts about 20 minutes in my house. If you ever need any chew toys tested, let me know. I do have a suggestion for the woman whose dog has a never-ending lick sore. Jazz had one; for years she wore an e-collar for months on end. The sore was even biopsied. Then my vet suggested we try Cephalexin as a sort of last resort. Though Jazz had to be on it for the rest of her life, the good news is that it worked for her. It might be worth a try. My vet graciously called the script into my local pharmacy where it was cheaper. Best wishes to Jan and Keely.
Norah

Ellen B. May 27, 2010 at 9:49 am

Norah – I’m so sorry…just realized I never replied to your comment! I definitely remember who you are. Your dogs sounds like quite the chewers! Does the bob-a-lot work well for them? Thanks for sharing your tip about Jazz – as much as we all try to avoid meds, they definitely bring relief to many pets. Just a quick plug….our pet pharmacy prices are very low and shipping on all pharmacy products (including flea & tick preventives) is always free!

Ellen B. May 27, 2010 at 10:00 am

Just want to update this post with a few other toys that are especially good for summer.

The Soft Bite Floppy Disk is a must-have for dogs that like to swim or play frisbee. It’s easy to fling it a *long* way, easy to see in water, and soft so it doesn’t hurt their mouth. It’s pretty durable, but you don’t want to let them chew on it.

The Busy Buddy Bouncy Dog Bone is another one of Kobe’s favorites. It’s durable and keeps him busy for about 10-15 minutes to work on each rawhide disk. Nice to give it to him while our family has dinner.

Kobe also loves any soft toy that honks, squeaks or makes any type of noise. He is fairly gentle on soft toys, but of course they don’t last forever! They’re all fairly inexpensive and worth having. I need to upgrade Kobe’s toy basket to a large one!

Evelyn Nicolas February 7, 2012 at 2:47 pm

Talk about powerful chewers, I have a 102lb Rottweiler who could chew cement in half. He has every Kong toy there is & I buy him every kind of bone there is on the market. His favorite toy is the “cookie toy” which he gets filled twice a day, morning & after his evening meal. I just read about “antler” bones which I can’t wait to try . Yep! my Hooch is three years old & I must admit is spoiled rotten (I wouldn”t have it any other way) We are a big family, I have five grown sons & one daughter & all of them contribute to spoiling Hooch. Would love to hear from everyone who loves all sort of animals & can tell me about their powerful chewer.

Ellen B. February 8, 2012 at 7:58 am

Evelyn, I consider my 65 lb lab mix to be an aggressive chewer, but it sounds like your Rottweiler takes the prize! Definitely try the deer antlers, they are the best thing I’ve found for my heavy chewer.

Valery Jayne Schweiter March 15, 2012 at 10:34 am

My beautiful little boy Maltese,Romeo plays so hard in the house. He has several doggy toys that he loves, that I have altered somewhat for him.– His alltime favorite is a “weasel ball” , in which I cut off the tail and stuff it inside a terry cloth sock. He spins it around -{and he spins too}– holding it with his teeth from the end of the sock.– unreal fast he goes!– The terry cloth on the sock is good for his teeth when he chews it- also have a battery charger on the wall with spare batterys for it. He LOVES his “Cave- bed” from Dr.Foster and Smith- and drags his favorite toys inside of it with him — CELEBRATE!!!

Emily Edge December 8, 2014 at 7:24 pm

I found a great treat dispenser toy that does only keep your dogs attention but has different settings. You can increase the difficulty. Not only though is this toy interesting but DURABLE. My dog is an extreme chewer and this toy is still ‘alive’. To read about more toys go to http://www.toytails.wordpress.com and follow (please).

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